The Wilderness Experience Is All About Preparation.
Most think they are ready to receive all the promises of God. In fact, most will absolutely guarantee they are ready for God’s Call, God’s Anointing, God’s Promise, God’s Word, God’s Gifts, God’s Deliverance, God’s Salvation, and God’s Promised Land. This is true until the first testing of the Wilderness Experience brings out the bitterness of soul. This is exactly what Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy reveals. God’s people are bitter, angry, anxious, complainers, hate authority, selfish, mean-spirited and want nothing to do with God or His Lordship. They want all God’s Promises, Favor, and Love, but want nothing to do with having a meaningful relationship with Him.
– The Wilderness Teaches Lessons In Maturity –
Did you know that God also has a school? God’s college does not have dormitories or computer labs. It doesn’t have a choir or a baseball team. There are no fancy four-color brochures that advertise God’s college. You cannot expect His campus recruiters to come to you and try and persuade you to attend his school. (Unless it’s me!) You are not going to see professional videos introducing you to campus life.
God’s college is in the desert, and I don’t mean Palm Springs or UNLV. God’s college is a desolate place. It is a place where the temperature soars and shade is hard to come by. It is a place where the ground is parched and water is a rare commodity. In fact, many times you have to search and scrounge for many of the comforts of life.
God’s school can be called “Wilderness University”. Wilderness University is not a school that you can opt out. When it comes to colleges around the country you pick and chose where you might like to go, but you cannot do that with Wilderness University. If you are going to be a follower of Jesus Christ, if you are going to be a true “Disciple”, then the Wilderness University is mandatory.
There is another strange fact about this School of Higher Spiritual Learning. You never finish all the courses, at least not in this life. There are no semesters or quarters. Your time at Wilderness University may last from a few days to a few years. Moses spent 40 years in the Wilderness University the first time and then spent 40 more years in the desert, disciplining the Children of Israel.
The Primary Lesson: Word of God Speak!
Did you know that the word “desert” in the original Hebrew language means, “to speak”?
I find this very enlightening. When we normally think of the desert, we do not think of it as a place that has much to say. We normally think of the desert as something that is barren and desolate without anything to give back to our lives.
When we go through those times in the wilderness everything seems deathly quiet. Rather than God speaking it seems as though God has abandoned us. After all, why would He want to be in a place like this?
Could it be possible that at times the seeming silence of God is of our own making? We are so busy complaining and we are so busy trying to get a “pass” on this class that we can’t hear what God is trying to communicate.
When we learn to hear God speak in the most difficult of circumstances, we will easily hear Him in normal times. The desert teaches us the truth of Jesus’ words. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
– The Hard, Hard Lessons of Humility –
Isn’t Humility 101 one of your favorite classes? I know I have enjoyed all my lessons in humility. You would think my favorite dessert desert is humble pie.
Why does God need to humble us? In truth – we always think we know what is best for us. The reality is only the Father knows best. Our spiritual sight is only 10% at best unless we own and wear the “cloak of humility.” God reveals our weaknesses in order that we might trust in Him.
– Tests, Tests, and More Tests –
What would college or any school in life be like without tests? Don’t we all just love a test?
I found out the hard way most of God’s wilderness tests are pop quizzes. You don’t know when they are coming or what material will be covered. This is why we have to be ready at all times. How many times have we all said, “I don’t why I am having to endure this? Where are you Lord? What is God’s will in this situation?”
– Understanding Your own Heart –
The desert experience has a wonderful way of revealing who we really are and what possesses our heart. We may wear a nice suit or dress to church. We might put a lot of money in the offering plate when it is passed. We may even seem to have all the answers to the Bible study questions. But the larger question is what does our heart look like?
Who are we IN THE REAL? When we are in the wilderness we will experience trials and struggles. (another blog) When they come, will we still be singing God’s praises or will we be loathing His treatment of us? Only our heart knows for sure. How you respond to God in the wilderness will be how you respond to God in other stations and places of life.
The desert is all about preparation. The Lord grooms us here in the outback for real growth and maturity.
The question is not are you going through the wilderness experience. You will! The better question is what is the condition of your heart now that it has been tested, tried, and put in a crucible? Can you still hear the still small voice of God? Are you humbly waiting for the next move of God?